Nu-disco, the house-disco hybrid that emerged in the mid-naughts, is a hit and miss kind of genre. For every future-facing glam-house banger there'll be half a dozen boring bass'd up disco retreads with next to no pop appeal. However, 'Los Angeles Times' by Graeme Clark (A.K.A The Revenge) most definitely falls under the 'hit' category. The track, hewed from Clarke's new 3-track EP 'Incredible Shellsuit', is how all nu-disco should sound, with house and disco harmonised in a way that brings the best out in both. On the one side you've got house music's masculine drive and big-room kick, while on the other is the high-times disco sass of chopped diva vocals and Latino bongos. It's at once carefree and caustic. And not for nothing, but the Scottish producer also finds time to insert a bloody big drop at the mid-point.
The track got an airing on Jackmaster's recent Essential Mix, another victory for the producer whose star is most certainly rising. As THUMP can exclusively reveal, his latest coup is an upcoming collaboration with Sister Sledge. It's every disco producer's dream.
You might ask how an underground, decidedly leftfield house producer come to be collaborating with 70s disco figureheads? "I did an edit of 'Lost In Music' a few years back and [Sister Sledge] heard it and liked it.," explains The Revenge. "They hit me up on Twitter recently showing some love and I responded asking if they wanted to do a collaboration on my album. I sent them over some demos and we're gonna hit the studio this month and see what comes out of it. As is the case with any collaboration, I really just hope for it to be relaxed and flowing. They seem super cool so I think it'll be productive."
According to Clark there was an affinity between the two acts from the get-go. "They made music that is still relevant today because it was soaked in emotion and people can still relate to that. I strive to retain the same spirit in my music too and I think they can recognise that. It's good to have a mutual appreciation from the outset on any collaboration rather than it being a business decision, and I certainly feel the love goes both ways on this one."
The producer would like to see more of these projects in dance music in which artists from different generations come together to generate new ideas. "The more barriers that are broken down in music the better" says Clark "It's really refreshing to see these sort of connections being made and I think technology has allowed that to happen a lot easier."
As he sees it, the collaboration is merely picking up where Nile Rodgers and Daft Punk left off. "I think [our collaboration] is a perfect fit with the Daft Punk / Nile Rodgers thing. I mean, Thomas Bangalter's dad was involved in the disco scene, and their music has always referenced that era so it seems a natural connection. Sometimes artists from older generations can be a bit sniffy about modern music and technology, but Nile Rodgers certainly showed that he can still be as relevant today as he was back in the day. The Jamie XX / Gil Scott Heron collab or the Rick Rubin / Johnny Cash one are cases in point too I think. "
Incredible Shellsuit will be released August 18th through Roar Groove. You can pre-order the EP here
You can follow John Calvert on Twitter here: @JCalvert_music